Chapter VIII
Label: Inner Wound Recordings
Out: December 1st, 2023
Playing time: 45:28

The band was founded under the name Powerage in 1998 as a Metal cover band. But soon after, the name was changed to Axenstar. And the musicians began to write their own songs. Demo CDs were sent to several labels. The result was a record deal with Arise Records (Spain). Three albums were the result of this collaboration. After a short intermezzo with Massacre, a deal was made with the Swedish label Inner Wound Recordings. And they are still under contract with them today. And as the title suggests, “Chapter VIII” is the Swedes’ eighth album.

Fortunately, the Swedes start right away without an intro with “Heavenly Symphony”. Grandiose guitars, driving drums and a pumping bass provide a full service of Power Metal. In addition, a singer who can easily keep up with the volume of the instruments and the high speed. “Through The Fire And Brimstone” is hardly slower. Here, too, the twin guitars go at high speed, once again pushed by a merciless drum work, including double bass attacks. And it goes on like this with the rhythmic “The Great Deceiver”. A great Metal anthem. “Enchanted Lands” starts with a stormy noise. Otherwise, the song offers a calm break. Acoustic guitars, strings and keyboard carpets form the backbone of this ballad-like instrumental. But already with “The Flame of Victory” the contemplation is over. Axenstar return to High Speed Metal. And they can still improve, as “No Surrender” clearly proves. With “Holy Land” the next Power Metal hymn follows. And immediately another hymn is added, “Eye For An Eye”. This time, however, a little quieter. With “The War Within” Sweden step up a gear, but without leaving the anthemic area. And what is best suited as a final song? A mixture of high-speed song and hymn (“Life Eternal”). Here you can also hear discreet growls from time to time.

The press release mentions Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, Helloween and Hammerfall as references. If you disregard the few bombast on the album, you can accept that. I see Axenstar in the intersection of Sonata Arctica and Helloween, because the other two bands mentioned have a lot more epicness. A super album. More of it, please.


Magnus Winterwild – Vocals, Bass
Jens Klovegård – Guitars
Joakim Jonsson – Guitars
Pelle Åkerlind – Drums

Track list:

  • Heavenly Symphony
  • Through the Fire and Brimstone
  • The Great Deceiver
  • Enchanted Lands
  • The Flame of Victory
  • No Surrender
  • Holy Land
  • Eye for an Eye
  • The War Within
  • Life Eternal
  • Album - 9/10
  • Cover-Art - 8/10
  • Songwriting - 9/10


Disturbingly Good


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